2K Australia and Gearbox defy all linear time with the latest effort to churn out more Borderlands content. Coining new sequencing terminology altogether, the devs work around the organizational headache of making a numerical 1.5 by skirting the counting issue entirely, dubbing the new game Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! Technically this is the third installment but the game actually fills the gap between the first two titles. Got it?

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Release Date: Q3 2014
ESRB: M (pending)
Developers: 2K Australia, Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games

Story-wise, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel will shed more light on the villainous Handsome Jack and how he became a mega-asshole during the second title. Whether or not you’ll empathize with him is anyone’s guess (he was really, really, really evil) but perhaps he’ll become more than two-dimensional plot motivation for players.

From the pre-alpha footage, the gameplay sure does look like Borderlands. By now you should know what you’re signing up for when tackling one of these games. Wading through hordes of baddies, sifting through multicolored loot, and teaming up with three of your buddies has worked so well for them in the past why change the formula?

Even though it looks like more of the same, at least 2K Australia is bringing some new ideas to the table. That’s right, Gearbox is handing over the keys to the devs in the land down under. What are these news ideas? Well, since the majority of the game seems to take place on the Hyperion space station — an ominous, orbital platform seen from practically every level in both previous games — as well as on the moon of Pandora, players will have to contend with low gravity. Expect to bunnyhop a lot while taking great leaps of faith during intense firefights. You’ll also have access to a jet pack of sorts for even more maneuverability. One huge change is the inclusion of oxygen as a resource. Because you’re mostly in space, it looks like you’ll have to keep an eye on your O2 meter as well as scouring for phat purps and epic gold loot.

In addition to the new locals and game mechanics, there will be four all new character classes. Two of these characters have never been seen before. They are Nisha: The Lawbringer who looks to pack a punch while duel-wielding pistols, and Athena: The Gladiator who might act as tanking class with her shield. Next, we have Wilhelm: The Enforcer who fans should recognize as a former boss from the second game. And finally, Claptrap makes its debut appearance at last as a playable Vault Hunter!

A Youtube vid (embeded below) offers a little more info but the gist is that this is indeed another Borderlands game. What’s more interesting is the focus on last-gen hardware. Yep, no ports to Xbox One or PS4 anywhere in sight. Undoubtedly, last-gen users outnumber early adopters enough to warrant one last hurrah for Borderlands beofre moving on to more powerful tech. The decision isn’t completely absurd, I just hope we’re not inadvertently ushering in another age of up-resed ports like so many publishers did with game collections (I’m looking at you Square Enix). In any case, fans’ thirst for this series never seems to be quenched so hopefully this Pre-Sequel can hold them over until a proper Borderlands 3 is announced.